Oct 27, 2016 • By

PODCAST: Getting our game on at Gamecon

It’s not every day that food marketers get to play video games at work.

But that’s exactly what happened last month during “Mills Gamecon.”

Our Gaming Cultural Connections team kicked the event off with a session focused on introducing brands to their gaming consumers. The team then brought in mainstream, indie and virtual reality gaming devices for our marketers to learn about the world of gaming by playing games at our headquarters.


How is gaming relevant to a food company like General Mills?

Because there are an estimated 155 million gamers in the U.S, according to Nielsen. And people who have a love for gaming also have to eat. Gamecon is a hands-on way to educate marketers about the diverse and growing gaming consumer segment.


“Everyone’s a gamer,” says Ashley Wright, a senior marketing partnerships planner at General Mills. “As we find interesting ways to connect with people around things that are important to them, gaming is obviously one of those passion points. Whether they’re kids, parents or young adults, there is an interesting way to connect around gaming. We think that’s important for our marketers to understand.”

Many of our brands are already exploring this space through partnerships, media integrations, augmented reality and experiential gaming activations.

Last February, Totino’s “Bucking Couch” debuted during a four-hour livestream event on Twitch, a social video platform and community where gamers watch and talk about video games. Seated on the Bucking Couch, gaming influencers took turns playing video games on a mechanical couch while Twitch chat room participants tuned in to control the couch’s bucking motions.


In August 2015, BuzzBee made a brief appearance in the Angry Birds 2 mobile game. Buzz helped gamers rain Honey Nut Cheerios down on the infamous piggies using his special “Honey Blaster Spell.”

Of course, our Monster Cereals fans remember when Blippar technology brought the Monsters to life on the front and back of boxes a year ago.

Even marketers who aren’t self-proclaimed gamers got into the action at Gamecon.


“I think when people initially pick up the controller they feel a little scared because they don’t consider themselves a gamer,” says Nicole Greibrok, marketing communications senior planner at General Mills. “But then when they have someone there to tell them how to do it, they pick it up so easily. And that’s the beauty of video games. There are games for everyone.”


“So, I think it’s great that we have the opportunity to learn hands on about this segment as we continue to evolve as marketers and really become consumer first.”

For our October “A Taste of General Mills” podcast I talked with Ashley and Nicole about Mills Gamecon and what’s next for the Gaming Cultural Connections team.

Among other things, you’ll learn:

-Why the gaming segment is important to food marketers

-How our Gaming Cultural Connections team is helping marketers authentically connect with consumers

It’s easy to listen to our show when you’re on the go. Just listen on any podcast app on your mobile device (search for A Taste of General Mills) or through iTunes or right here on our blog.

Listen (6 min)

SHOW NOTES – Episode 14: October 27, 2016

Link: The Bucking Couch

Link: BuzzBee in Angry Birds 2

Link: 2015 Monster Cereals

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